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Dom Flemons - Prospect Hill / The Boston Globe interview

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Dom Flemons' outgoing voice mail message has a nice ring to it.

"Hello, this is Dom Flemons, American songster," he says before instructing you to leave a message after the beep.

Most folk artists go by "singer-songwriter" or simply "musician." But "American songster" speaks to a greater truth about the work Flemons, a multi-instrumentalist, has accomplished as a founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops and now, since leaving that group last year, as a solo artist.

"Paul Oliver has a book called ‘Songsters & Saints,' and he describes the songster as a person who plays and sings," says the 31-year-old Flemons, who kicks off the Museum of Fine Arts' Elaine and Jerome Rosenfeld Concerts in the Courtyard series on Wednesday. "I find a songster not only defined a lot of my favorite performers, like Leadbelly and [Mississippi] John Hurt, but it's also what I've done on my own journey. I didn't come into music thinking I would do it as a profession, but then I stepped into it and I've tried to retain my interests as a musician but also as a collector and fan."

Since emerging with the Carolina Chocolate Drops in 2005, Flemons has been a torchbearer in contemporary American roots music, blending his love of old-time styles with a scholarly interest in their history. His forthcoming solo album, Prospect Hill (due July 22), allows him to stretch even further, with a mix of traditional and original songs that explore different moods and strains of Americana.

On the phone from his home in North Carolina, Flemons recently reflected on his past and how it will inform his future in the spotlight. READ THE FULL Boston Globe INTERVIEW.